One of the highlights of TIBS this year will be the unveiling of a 23m (76ft) Rob Humphreys-designed motoryacht, the Monte Fino 76 Fly, by one of Taiwan’s longest established custom yacht-builders – Kha Shing Enterprises.
Founded in 1977, Kha Shing has grown steadily in stature over the years, as well as in capacity.
Today the company builds around 20 yachts per year at its Kaohsiung yard, split between the Monte Fino brand and those built under contract for rms such as Belize in Australia and US-based O shore and Hargrave Custom Yachts.
“So far 2018 has been a very busy year,” says managing director Howard Gung, who also serves as chairman of the Taiwan Yacht Industry Association (TYIA).
“Last year we obtained ve new orders for yachts over 80ft LOA in the US. Of the five orders, two were for a 118ft Hargrave.
We’re also working on new moulds for a 66ft Riviera Belize, which will be launched at the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. On top of all these projects, we’re working on two orders for the newly developed Outback 50ft. Currently, there are 12 yachts being built within our facility and all of these yachts will be completed and delivered in 2018.”
Kha Shing is also building a new marina in the city that, when completed, will offer 30 berths for yachts of up to 50m (164ft). Kha Shing Pier 22 is expected to open in in those countries.
“As well as offering safe berthing for yachts, we also want to provide one-stop marina services for boat owners, increase sales of our own yachts in the domestic market and, most importantly, provide an opportunity for all people to be closer to the water,” Gung explains.
At Kha Shing, he says, domestic sales account for less than 2% of annual group turnover. Local demand is mostly for yachts under 60ft in length, whereas domestic builders tend to focus on much larger models.
“Even though there are many potential buyers in Taiwan, it takes time to develop this kind of need amongst domestic clientele,” says Gung.
“What we require at the moment are better marinas for luxury yachts and more yacht management professionals, so that future boat owners are con dent that their yacht will be in good hands once they’ve made a purchase. I believe that the Taiwan yacht industry will see a big increase in growth over the next three years.”
While America continues to be Kha Shing’s biggest export market, the company set up a branch o ce in China last year to grow sales closer to home and is also talking to dealers in the UK, Australia and New Zealand about setting up new sales offices in those countries.
Europe, however, is of growing interest, thanks to a recovering economy and historical love of yachts.
“Our goal for the next few years is to develop further into Europe while keeping America as one of our most important export markets,” says Gung, adding that it is vital to keep on top of the latest trends in yacht design whilst also looking at e ciencies in product development and mouldings.
“The change in production materials and methods has become extremely crucial to us,” says Gung.
“Over the last three years, Kha Shing has worked hard to transfer our traditional craftsmanship to digitalisation, both in design and the manufacturing process.”
“I hope to develop new products in a shorter period of time and build more yachts within the same capacity and time frame,” Gung adds.
“At the same time, our customers will be able make their decisions during the design phase by looking at 3D images. By doing so, we will be able to shorten the waiting period of any customised product. For all current and future orders, our customers could see the images of the yacht of their dreams in advance, which will certainly help us to obtain more orders.”
Interview taken related to the Taiwan Boat Show by BELINDA SNELL
Photos / Videos: Monte Fino Yachts
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